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N Hoey -
Subject: ST, Stephan > The Eleven
Seems like the trackers of these usually get it wrong. The Eleven actually commences about 2:30 after the track marker. Those first two and a half minutes are the end of St. Stephan in 4/4.
Subject: forget the stars
Nobody wants to mention the guests playing with the Dead on Lovelight, Caution and elsewhere? I don't think that's Bobby trying to figure out the chords to Lovelight. A previous poster who attended this show notes the presence of guests onstage. A photograph of the band onstage does not show Mickey, so maybe they were playing Dark Star and Mickey was out-of-frame playing the scratcher while Pigpen contributes his signature riff on organ and does vocal harmonies. Canned Heat and Mad River did not have keyboardists. Pigpen had recently gotten out of the hospital, so maybe a guest sat in on the Hammond for most of the rest of the show, and another guitarist sat in during Lovelight.
So how about some research, guys, instead of all the star ratings and "best of" comments. That does not enhance my enjoyment of the recording if you don't tell me what you like about it.
It's really almost pointless giving star ratings to these '68 shows, except, I guess, in relation to each other...
The guts of this show is the finale - Eleven > Caution. Just off the chain; they push that locomotive to the breaking point before melting it right down in a hot lava mess.
Subject: Pigpen is back and on, one of the best from '68
Pigpen back from a several show absence, apparently his girlfriend had suffered a stroke causing him to miss some shows at the Avalon Ballroom. That and his position in the Grateful Dead, along with Bob Weir's was in flux. Jerry and Phil had talked about firing both of them.
Apparently the Dead didn't think this show was up to snuff, and consequently didn't play the Greek theatre for another 13 years. Personally I think it's one of the best from 68. It's stunning actually and Pigpen is ON. So's the rest of the band. There's an old saying "nothing like a recording to ruin the memory of a good gig", the opposite seems to be true too. This is a great gig.
Btw that's Pigpen on organ, TC didn't play his first gig until November 23.
Dylan M -
Subject: Birth of the Dead
This recording captures the primal-Dead, figuring out what would become their triumphant opus just a few months later.
Dark Star>Saint Stephen>The Eleven>Caution>Feedback
Great performance. The levels are WAY uneven in Schoolgirl. Phil is way at the top and vocals are too low. Vocals are unfortunately too low for most of this recording. Lucky for us this is more of an instrumental performance. Once Dark Star starts at least the instrument levels are corrected. These are shorter performances of each of these songs than what they would develop into very shortly. However the level of energy and musical cooperation is tight.
T.C. is high in the mix as well killing it especially in Caution.
Thanks for this! Its cool to hear these tunes in their baby forms.
Subject: phil's song
Little school girl is all about phil here. I can ask this...did they give him lead cuz otherwise he stole it? It's my favorite school girl so far but I haven;t been listening long enough to give it more than three stars. Could be better but best I've heard...for bass, real funky/blues
Subject: In my opinion,
not quite as good a show as 10/13/68 and not as good a setlist. Still, definitely good.
Subject: Unlike Anything. Just listen
This is music that you can feel! A true experience of the harmonious, that transcends experience all together! If we being, rushing alongside the songs they play chronologically, we will feel the bass within us as it moves alongside the grooves in Schoolgirl. This is only a small movement- the dynamics are graceful and beauteous and alive and powerful and intrinsic! A force is at work within each song, each musician surely possessing that force. I can feel something within this music no experience can give. But to arrive at the wonderment Dark Star produces in ethereal lands transcending the stage, you too will surely notice a glimpse of this. Intrinsic power and transcendental grace! And how it moves onward throughout the Eleven and Caution, something so strong and scary that comes alive in full fluid movements! Unlike anything!... A complete amount of harmonious force and energy is conveyed here. One of their most brilliant moments in '68 (though it transcends brilliance). It goes onward in a fully achieved transcendental dance and moves in some way that I lack words to describe. Just listen
Subject: oh yes oh yes
the transition jamming between this breakneck version of The Eleven and Caution is some of the BEST EVER - i defy anyone to control the pounding of their fist onto any nearby surface during this sequence...
This is one of my favorite St. Stephens. The tempo changes are just flawless, the space before "Lady fingers..." is just awesome. The Eleven, has the only proper cut I listened to, they always have those lyrics before the jam as part of St.Stephen, but as part of The Eleven they just add so much to jam. A nice build up right after St. Stephen ends. I hate the ratings system. Half the people who listen to the dead listen to a ton of stuff in the 90's and 80's and so a ton of those shows are rated better. Which is just anyone's opinion really... usually cause they were at the show. I would give shows 5's just for having a amazing one song in there. Like 10-29-78, not truly amazing, but the Sug Mag just has some the best drums of any version I have listened to. I gave it a 5 just for that but...
L. Rosley -
Subject: One of the best of the 1968
I’ve listened to almost all of the ’68 shows hear at Archive, as well as those that the Dead released. This one is as good as the February/March shows, and a few from August. One of the rare features it that not only is the “Live Dead” set list top notch, but the Anthem of the Sun material is also excellent. This show compares well to many ’69 shows as well.
This tape starts with an exceptional Schoolgirl, already in progress. The jamming and Pig’s vocals are fresh and exciting. In the second half, Jerry lays back and Phil has an extended solo, a real treat for Phil fans.
The jamming in Lovelight is similarly hot in spots. It doesn’t quite gel like some of the ’69 shows, but it is a good Lovelight none-the-less.
The show gets serious with Dark Star is one of best in the golden age of Dark Stars. Moody and lyrical, it flows hear and there, but is a well-crafted composition. Nothing compares to it after 1970.
Next is a Live-Dead-style St. Stephen (in which Jerry cooks) and The Eleven. St. Stephen is perfect, and the Eleven rips--as good as any in 1969. Jerry and Phil duel it out in the first part, then Jerry takes off. Then something unusual happens towards the end: Caution. In this period, The Eleven sometimes transitions into Death Don’t have no mercy. The Eleven into Caution was not common, but it works well here, an interesting transition from Live-Dead-style back into Anthem of the Sun material. The transition is completely seemless.
Pipen’s organ starts off Caution, then he begins his rap with a call-and-response. Things get decidedly more pychedelic. The Caution jam kicks in, wild, electric, exciting, but tight and musical. Just dynamite. Things calm down a bit, then revs back up to a short climax, then a transition into feedback.
Unlike the space of later years (which often signaled time for a bathroom break), this feedback is a compelling group composition that holds your attention. In the end, it transitions smoothly into the 60-cycle hum of the PA.
This show is worthy of many repeat listens.
Cliff Hucker -
Subject: Fuck the Hartbeats!
Next to 3/30, this might be the most overrated show from '68. That said, it just might be the liveliest mixed file from this extraordinary vintage.
A little treasure, with perhaps the best Dark Star from 1968 next to Raspberry farm. Just listen to Phil on Schoolgirl, this is fucking unreal! (99 pts)
Subject: Float With The Floaters
God ..how I love this music....
high flow -
Subject: Hello Berkeley!!
1968 and super-duper sweet.
stellar darkstar -
phil will blow your speakers with this one crispy clean board
Subject: This is could become an addition!
This sounds wonderful. Keep it coming Charlie and archive. Thanks again.
Put your head phones on, and step on the train!The gang really takes you for a ride here!
Caution is awsome!